sustainability planning

May 14, 2024

Sonya Betker joins SCS Engineers.


Sonya Betker is a zero waste and sustainability expert who brings decades of experience to SCS. Betker is a TRUE Advisor and a Sustainable Excellence Associate supporting her clients in sustainable resource management and waste reduction practices that minimize waste by reusing as many products as possible.

Betker’s expertise comes from leading regional, national, and global sustainability and circular economy programs for public and private clients by taking a holistic approach to lead and develop strategic programs. She is particularly proficient at maximizing partnerships for more efficient sustainability programs. Much of her experience has been in business management and brokering before her transition to environmental consulting.

Creating connections between stakeholders and excellent communication has been a constant throughout her career. These traits are especially valuable in zero waste and sustainability planning because they involve multiple stakeholders, including the public.

“Sonya brings field experience and a proven track record driving sustainability, building the business case highlighting potential revenue gains and cost savings with buy-in to sustainability,” states Betsy Powers, vice president and project director. “That provides more successful paths to circular systems, and our clients appreciate our sensitivity to costs.”

Betker’s background includes a B.S. in Business Management – Sustainability from the University of Wisconsin–Stout and over ten professional affiliations and certifications. She has a deep understanding of the most current sustainability issues, tools, and techniques and can communicate sustainability topics to diverse audiences. She can accurately assess sustainability risks and opportunities in an organization, community, or industry.

Betker is an author recognized in industry publications for her article “The future relationship of sustainability and traditional waste and recycling may be a key piece in solving our waste puzzle,” and featured in “Women in Waste” for her leadership skills.

“I’ve learned to look at the big picture of waste and recycling,” Betker said. “I like to look for commodities within markets and help with that circularity—reframing waste as a resource. Stopping or reusing food waste is a particularly rewarding area for many municipalities and businesses.”


Welcome to SCS Engineers where people like Sonya Betker are helping businesses and municipalities run cleaner and more efficiently! 


Additional Resources:



Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:16 pm

September 20, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the availability of up to $4.6 billion of competitive grants. The grants are broken into two funding opportunities. The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants (CPRG) competition is designed to incentivize eligible applicants to apply for funding together as a coalition to implement GHG reduction measures regionally, across multiple municipalities, state boundaries, or even state and tribal boundaries. It includes funding for enhancing carbon removal, too.


Deadlines to Apply for Grants to Implement GHG Reduction

Under Funding Opportunity Number EPA-R-OAR-CPRGT-23-07, EPA announces approximately $4.3 billion for a general competition open to states, municipalities, air pollution control agencies, tribes, and territories for CPRG implementation grants. Tribes and territories interested in the general competition should seek the CPRG implementation grant “general competition” NOFO for more information. Applications for this implementation grants competition for tribes and territories are due on May 1, 2024.

Another $300 million for the CPRG implementation grants competition is exclusively for tribes and territories. Lead organizations for tribes and territories must submit their Priority Climate Action Plans to EPA by the deadline of April 1, 2024, in order for lead organizations and other eligible applicants under this announcement to submit grant applications to fund measures contained in those plans. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 25 to 100 grants ranging between $1 million and $25 million under this tribes and territories competition. Further detail on award tiers can be found in Table 1 of Section II.B.


Climate Change Disruptions

As the US faces the increasingly harmful impacts of climate change, communities are experiencing more deadly wildfires and storm surges, more extreme drought and water scarcity, and dangerous levels of flooding, among other impacts. The Fourth National Climate Assessment found that intense extreme weather, climate-related events, and changes in average climate conditions are expected to continue damaging infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities. If left unchecked, future climate change is expected to disrupt many areas of life further and exacerbate existing challenges to prosperity posed by aging and deteriorating infrastructure, stressed ecosystems, and long-standing inequalities.

Grants to Support Your Communities

Our country’s daunting challenge comes with an opportunity to invest in a cleaner economy that will spur innovation and economic growth while building more equitable, resilient communities. Accordingly, the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program is designed to achieve the following goals:

1. Implement ambitious measures that will achieve significant cumulative GHG reductions by 2030 and beyond;
2. Pursue measures that will achieve substantial community benefits (such as reduction of criteria air pollutants (CAPs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs));
3. Complement other funding sources to maximize these GHG reductions and community benefits; and,
4. Pursue innovative policies and programs that are replicable and can be “scaled up” across multiple jurisdictions.

What Qualifies as a GHG Reduction Measure?

Treatments and solutions that reduce GHG emissions or enhance carbon removal can qualify. Measures that enhance carbon removal increase carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere through, for example, the uptake of carbon and storage. Other measures may include EPA-approved technologies. Documentation must be provided to support the estimated GHG emission reductions for each proposed measure. Depending upon the proposed solution, you’ll need a well-conceived plan and data from a reliable environmental engineer or an environmental or sustainability consultant.

Who’s Eligible?

Eligible applicants for the CPRG implementation grants competitions are lead organizations for CPRG planning grants and other executive branch-level agencies, offices, and departments in states, D.C., Puerto Rico, municipalities, tribes, tribal consortia, territories, and groups of such entities applying for funding to implement measures contained in one or more applicable Priority Climate Action Plan developed with funding from a CPRG planning grant.

Additional Resources


EPA will host overview webinars for each implementation grant competition for eligible applicants and other interested parties over the coming weeks. All sessions will be one hour long. EPA will post recordings of each webinar to the CPRG website. You can click the links below to register for one or more scheduled sessions.

Date         Time (ET)     Event Topic                                                                                Register
Sept. 21   2:30 pm General competition webinar Register here 
Sept. 27   2:00 pm Tribe and territories only competition webinar Register here 
Oct. 3   3:00 pm General competition webinar (repeat) Register here
Oct. 5   1:00 pm Tribe and territories only competition webinar (repeat) Register here



Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:31 pm